Films fea­ture faces to build com­mu­nity

FLASH­BACKS FROM PAST AIM TO RE­UNITE AGES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

WHEN res­i­dents be­came too scared to walk down the main street of a western Syd­ney sub­urb at night a group of artists de­cided to re­veal the iden­ti­ties hid­den be­hind shop fa­cades.

A se­ries of mini doc­u­men­taries cre­ated by not­for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Fu­sion has un­cov­ered the char­ac­ters of the St Marys area, in a bid to reawaken the sense of com­mu­nity older res­i­dents re­mem­ber from decades ago.

Meet St Marys tells the sto­ries of a num­ber of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity – cov­er­ing from when they first ar­rived in the sub­urb to what they think of the area now.

“It’s to in­tro­duce char­ac­ters’ lives and the his­tory of the peo­ple of St Marys to the wider pub­lic, in the hope that the more peo­ple know each other, the more there will be a sense of com­mu­nity,” pro­duc­tion man­ager Jeff Es­tanis­lao said.

“If we know each other’s lives and are in each other’s worlds, we are kind of go­ing to be able to get along a bit more.”

At the launch of the pro- ject in Coach­mans Park on Satur­day night, two dance groups of young and older peo­ple will join to­gether to tell an­other story of St Marys’ past and present.

“A lot of res­i­dents from St Marys in par­tic­u­lar feel un­safe at night, par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple,” cre­ative pro­ducer David Ryan said.

“So we’re try­ing to do a cul­tural pro­ject to al­le­vi­ate that in some ways. So rather than just hav­ing a talk fest we use mu­sic, dance, pho­tog­ra­phy and video and bring them to­gether in such a way it wouldn’t be a group of artists im­pos­ing on a com­mu­nity, it’s much the other way.

“You said you wanted to change some­thing so come and be a part of that.”

At the launch there will also be wall pro­jec­tions of im­ages go­ing back through the his­tory of St Marys, along with voiceovers of mem­o­ries from res­i­dents.

“It’s about what it was like be­ing a teenager back in the ’60s and ’70s, and what it’s like be­ing a teenager to­day,” Mr Ryan said.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Dancers Sue Ben­zie, 69, Jes­sica Steven­son, 12, Gra­ham Had­dock, 71, Hope Camil­leri, 14, Tayla Arkley, 13, and Clara Pizzi, 77, have teamed up to per­form at the

Meet St Marys pro­ject launch.

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